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August 2nd, 2013
08:00 AM ET

Why millennials need the church

Opinion by Rachel Held Evans, special to CNN

(CNN) - For a time, I counted myself among the spiritual but not religious, Christian but not churchgoing crowd.

Like many millennials, I left church because I didn’t always see the compassion of Jesus there, and because my questions about faith and science, the Bible, homosexuality, and religious pluralism were met with shallow answers or hostility.

At first I reveled in my newfound Sunday routine of sleeping in, sipping my coffee and yelling at Republicans who appeared on ”Meet the Press.”

But eventually I returned, because, like it or not, we Christian millennials need the church just as much as the church needs us. Here’s why:

Baptism

As former Methodist bishop Will Willimon has often said, “you cannot very well baptize yourself.”

In a culture that stresses individualism, the church satisfies the human need for community, for shared history and experiences.

And in a world where technology enables millennials to connect only with those who are like-minded, baptism drags us - sometimes kicking and screaming as infants - into the large, dysfunctional and beautiful family of the church.

Confession

“Sin” is not a popular word these days, perhaps because it is so often invoked in the context of judgment and condemnation.

But like all people, millennials need reminding now and then that the hate and violence we observe in the world is also present within ourselves.

We can be too idealistic, too convinced we can change the world from our iPads.

The accountability that comes from participation in a local church gives young Christians the chance to speak openly about our struggles with materialism, greed, gossip, anger, consumerism and pride.

Healing

While the flawed people who make up the church can certainly inflict pain on each other and sometimes on the world, we also engage in the important work of healing.

At their best, local churches provide basements where AA groups can meet, living rooms where tough conversations about racial reconciliation occur, casseroles for the sick and shelter for the homeless.

Millennials who have been hurt by the church may later find healing in it.

Leadership

Like a lot of millennials, I am deeply skeptical of authority - probably to a fault.

But when I interact with people from my church who have a few years and a lot of maturity on me, I am reminded of how cool it is to have a free, built-in mentoring and accountability program just down the street.

We can learn a lot from the faithful who have gone before us, and the church is where we find them.

Communion

One of the few things the modern church has in common with the ancient one is its celebration of the sacred meal— the Eucharist.

There is simply not the space here, nor in many volumes of theology for that matter, to unpack the significance of remembering Jesus through eating bread and drinking wine. But when I left the church, it was Communion I craved the most.

Churches may disagree on exactly how Christ is present in these sacred meals, but we agree that Christ is present. And millennials, too, long for that presence.

There are some days when the promise of Communion is the only thing that rouses me from bed on Sunday morning. I want a taste of that mystery.

Confirmation

Many churches practice a rite of initiation, sometimes called confirmation.

Theologian Lauren Winner, in her book “Still: Notes on a Mid-Faith Crisis,” quotes a friend who said:

“What you promise when you are confirmed is not that you will believe this forever. What you promise when you are confirmed is that that is the story you will wrestle with forever.”

The church, at its best, provides a safe place in which to wrestle with this story we call the Gospel.

Union with Christ

Those who follow Jesus long for the day when their communion with him becomes complete, and Jesus promises this will happen through the church.

The apostle Paul compared this union to a marriage. Jesus describes it as a banquet.

No matter what the latest stats or studies say, Christians believe the future of the church is secure and not even “the gates of hell” will prevail against it.

As much as I may struggle to fit in sometimes, as much as I doubt, question and fight for reforms, I am a part of this church, through good times and bad, for better or worse.

The astute reader will notice that each of these points corresponds loosely with a sacrament—baptism, confession, the anointing of the sick, holy orders, communion, confirmation and marriage.

Some would say there are many others. We could speak of the sacrament of the Word or the washing of feet.

But even where they are not formally observed, these sacraments are present in some form in nearly every group of people who gather together in the name of Jesus.

They connect us to our faith through things we can eat, touch, smell and feel. And they connect us with one another.

They remind us, as writer and Episcopal priest Sara Miles put it, that “You can’t be a Christian by yourself.”

This is why I haven’t given up on the church, and I suspect why it hasn't given up on me.

Rachel Held Evans is the author of "Evolving in Monkey Town" and "A Year of Biblical Womanhood." She blogs at rachelheldevans.com. The views expressed in this column belong to her.

Evans has written two previous posts for CNN's Belief Blog: Why millennials are leaving the church; and Not all religious convictions are written in stone.

- CNN Religion Editor

Filed under: Belief • Christianity • Church • evangelicals • Faith • Opinion • United States

soundoff (4,825 Responses)
  1. mzh

    Conversation between Allah (The Ilah) and His first creation which Angels about human creation:

    2:30 – And [mention, O Muhammad], when your Lord said to the angels, "Indeed, I will make upon the earth a successive authority (human)." They (Angels) said, "Will You place upon it one who causes corruption therein and sheds blood, while we declare Your praise and sanctify You?" Allah said, "Indeed, I know that which you do not know."

    2:31 – And He taught Adam the names – all of them. Then He showed them to the angels and said, "Inform Me of the names of these, if you are truthful."

    2:32 – They said, "Exalted are You; we have no knowledge except what You have taught us. Indeed, it is You who is the Knowing, the Wise."

    2:33 – He said, "O Adam, inform them of their names." And when he had informed them of their names, He said, "Did I not tell you that I know the unseen [aspects] of the heavens and the earth? And I know what you reveal and what you have concealed."

    Human are so much honoured that the entire creation were commanded to prostrate on Adam:
    2:34 – And [mention] when We said to the angels, "Prostrate before Adam"; so they prostrated, except for Iblees. He refused and was arrogant and became of the disbelievers.

    2:35 – And We said, "O Adam, dwell, you and your wife, in Paradise and eat therefrom in [ease and] abundance from wherever you will. But do not approach this tree, lest you be among the wrongdoers."

    The first one to be disobedient and is not from Angel but from another nation called Jinn which Bible does not talk about it which is perhaps why Christians teaches satan is a fallen angel but angels are created of having no free will to disobey a command but Jinn are created with the privilege of free will like human:

    2:36 – But Satan caused them to slip out of it and removed them from that [condition] in which they had been. And We said, "Go down, [all of you], as enemies to one another, and you will have upon the earth a place of settlement and provision for a time."

    2:37 – Then Adam received from his Lord [some] words, and He accepted his repentance. Indeed, it is He who is the Accepting of repentance, the Merciful.

    2:38 – We said, "Go down from it, all of you. And when guidance comes to you from Me, whoever follows My guidance – there will be no fear concerning them, nor will they grieve.

    2:39 – And those who disbelieve and deny Our signs – those will be companions of the Fire; they will abide therein eternally."

    Please read more in the open book which is the Quran and judge urself...

    August 12, 2013 at 3:50 pm |
    • Richard Cranium

      I have, and it the ramblings of a megolomaniac lunatic who was also a child molester.

      August 12, 2013 at 4:49 pm |
      • mzh

        Thanks and I feel sorry for you that you are so intelligent but not intelligent enough to understand the message in it but i would never give up my hope... one day you will realize either sooner or later...

        Peace...

        August 13, 2013 at 6:49 am |
        • pzh

          mzh, sorry that you are unable to understand the bulk of your post is the Secret Decoder Ring fallacy and that your last line is Pascal's Wager warmed over. Your beliefs are entirely fiction.Do some research before you post more nonsense like you just did.

          August 13, 2013 at 11:11 am |
        • mzh

          Dear pzh:

          I appreciate your comments on my posting… I do not expect that everyone will like these verses from Quran… but I believe there are folks who are in seeking of the truth… this is for those who seek for it and not for those who does not seek… so no worries…

          I have done my search enough to feel that I am obligated to let others know about the truth… during the first generation of Islam, folks accepted Islam by seeing the behave of a Muslim and by reading of the verses of the quran as it was their own language and they ponder upon it as soon as they heard it… some of them got emotionally sick for days and months after they have listened to some of the recitation and this is how they accepted this truth… I understand these days, people are basically seeing what some people with the banner of Islam do and they think this is the Islam but this is NOT… so I thought to share the verse so that people will know that the Islam is not what they see in media or people doing wrongly with the banner of Islam…

          I have also seen folks here born in different denominations and than got confused as they thought it make no sense what they were told and then they have spend years and some decades in order to know the quran and then accepted it as The Truth here in America and all over the world…

          So I am not really worry about what people calls me or call the religion…

          Peace be upon you...

          August 13, 2013 at 2:04 pm |
        • pzh

          mzh who keeps pushing quotes from his evil storybook at us will go on all day with his repetitive posts trying to sell you on his god fraud. He has no proof to offer of his stories and you have to ask why his "god" needs an old, badly flawed book to get its message out. The reason is that his religion is all a big scam, entirely man-made. The god that his mythbook describes is just that, a complete fabrication. It is time to put such fictions aside and to tackle the problems of the world head on, instead. mzh's religion is one of those problems, and is the source of some of the worst ones. Witness what it demands that its followers do to "infidels" that happen to not buy into his stories.

          August 13, 2013 at 2:16 pm |
  2. mzh

    A call to mankind:

    2:21 – O mankind, worship your Lord, who created you and those before you, that you may become righteous

    2:22 – [He] who made for you the earth a bed [spread out] and the sky a ceiling and sent down from the sky, rain and brought forth thereby fruits as provision for you. So do not attribute to Allah equals while you know [that there is nothing similar to Him].

    2:23 – And if you are in doubt about what We have sent down upon Our Servant [Muhammad], then produce a surah (chapter) the like thereof and call upon your witnesses other than Allah, if you should be truthful.

    2:24 – But if you do not – and you will never be able to – then fear the Fire, whose fuel is men and stones, prepared for the disbelievers.

    2:25 – And give good tidings to those who believe and do righteous deeds that they will have gardens [in Paradise] beneath which rivers flow. Whenever they are provided with a provision of fruit there from, they will say, "This is what we were provided with before." And it is given to them in likeness. And they will have therein purified spouses, and they will abide therein eternally.

    August 12, 2013 at 3:07 pm |
    • Jeb

      A call to mzh:

      Umm, why does your all-powerful being who has everything need worship? Better make yourself a better god next time, stupid.

      August 12, 2013 at 3:13 pm |
      • 808

        That is not why we worship God. And if we worship ourselves we become just like you. And that kind of life sucks.

        August 12, 2013 at 3:19 pm |
        • Jeb

          No, you suck, and you don't have any balls.

          August 12, 2013 at 3:23 pm |
        • 404

          god worship pretty much is self worship. Let's see, as the tiny spec of dust that I am in the universe, some deity cares for me because I'm so special but lets millions of innocent kids die horribly painful deaths elsewhere in poorer places in the world because they don't matter as much to him as wonderful me does...

          Some god you've made there, little fella.

          August 12, 2013 at 3:26 pm |
        • mzh

          Dear Jeb,

          Calm down... angry takes nowhere... no one is forcing anyone to accept any faith... i am here just to share the message and it is up to you whether to accept or to reject... if you accept it will not benefit me of any earthly benefit and on the other hand if you reject it will not help me in anyways... decision is urs...

          One of the teaching of prophet Muhammad (pbuh) is 'the one who can control his anger when he or she is angry is the most powerful one and not the one who is physically pwoerful or who wrastles'.....

          August 12, 2013 at 3:56 pm |
        • Jeb

          Dear mzh, honey, do look up straw man argument. That is what you just presented. Let's look deeper at your religion, then, shall we:

          1. There is no evidence for Muslim beliefs about god. None. Zero.

          2. Islam is the most violent religion going. For that reason alone, it needs to get shut down, big time.

          3. Christianity is not much better.

          Now, let's yank you back on track, now that we have tossed aside your straw man attempts:

          Again, why does your "god" demand worship from its stupid sheeple, such as yourself? Yes, your Quran has such demands in it, and you have quoted from it.

          August 12, 2013 at 4:59 pm |
        • lerianis

          What? Sorry, but I have to disagree. Islam is NOT the most violent religion in the slightest. A lot of the 'violence' that Arabics do against other Arabics and other races is NOT because of Islam. In fact, it's flagrantly in violation of Islam's tenets, however they have some radical madrassas and their leaders who have basically rewritten the Koran.

          I'm no Muslim, I'm an Atheist myself but Islam is no more nor less violent than Christianity is. Christianity just couches their violence under 'fiat of law'.

          August 12, 2013 at 6:22 pm |
        • Spud

          larianna, you're spitting hairs there. Muslim society and religion are tied together in a gordian knot, hence the violence is part and parcel with the religion, as is the excessive respect for the imams. We know how to release the knot, but anyway, still more violent than most Christian societies now fo sho.

          August 12, 2013 at 6:37 pm |
      • 808

        Basic Muslim theology is not that difficult to grasp. Keep at it, Jeb. I know you can get it eventually!

        August 12, 2013 at 3:49 pm |
        • Jeb

          Basic logic is not that hard to grasp, 808. You fail to get it so far, but keep trying, and with that and some courage that you lack at present, you might be able to grow out of your childish religious fictions.

          August 12, 2013 at 5:01 pm |
      • mzh

        Jeb:

        I am not here to convince anyone... thats not what i am intend to but just to let u know... so peace... you do your religion and I do mine – 107:6

        So peace 🙂

        August 12, 2013 at 6:36 pm |
        • Jeb

          mzh, you are obviously a liar and a hypocrite, since you actually have obviously been pushing your religion at us.

          As for "you do your religion", um, I don't have a religion, and nor do I need one. I'm smarter than that, and much smarter than you are. The problem with your request is that religion such as yours brings with it some awful laws that impact others, including its demands for murder of "infidels"

          So, mzh, now that you have clearly exposed yourself as a liar, put that in that fat pipe that you stick in your ass, and smoke it.

          August 12, 2013 at 6:43 pm |
        • Jeb

          mzh, you are obviously a liar and a hypocrite, since you actually have obviously been pushing your religion at us.

          As for "you do your religion", um, I don't have a religion, and nor do I need one. I'm smarter than that, and much smarter than you are. The problem with your request is that religion such as yours brings with it some awful laws that impact others, including its demands for murder of "infidels"

          So, mzh, now that you have clearly exposed yourself as a liar, put that in your fat pipe and smoke it.

          August 12, 2013 at 6:45 pm |
        • Jeb

          mzh, you are obviously a liar and a hypocrite, since you actually have obviously been pushing your religion at us.

          As for "you do your religion", um, I don't have a religion, and nor do I need one. I'm smarter than that, and much smarter than you are. The problem with your request is that religion such as yours brings with it some awful laws that impact others, including its demands for murder of "infidels"

          So, mzh, now that you have clearly exposed yourself as a liar, put that in your pipe and smoke it.

          August 12, 2013 at 6:46 pm |
        • mzh

          Thank you Jeb for your kind wordings... and this actually prove what type of smart human you are who does not know how to respect others and live with peace...

          by the way when u said that you do not have any religion, this is not correct... there is not a single human who could say that has no religion... one of the definitions of 'religion' is 'follow a list of do vs don't' as you are so nice person and you do not tend to harm others or do something which could harm others or th e community that is past the the list that you follow... now the list, either you come up with your own list in this case you already have and you follow anyone of the list we have in the face of earth i.e. hinduism, christianity, muslim, buddha and so on...

          i hope it will be little helpful for you...

          peace be upon u...

          August 12, 2013 at 7:13 pm |
        • Jeb

          mzh, you have been clearly shown to be a liar. Go on posting all you like, but you have no credibility left.

          And as others have said, atheism is no more a religion than bald is a hair color, or than not collecting stamps is a hobby. That point exceeds your limited grasp of logic, but that is your problem, not mine.

          Now, mzh, you should not dare to call someone else down re their quality as a person, when you have been unequivocably shown to be a liar yourself.

          mzh, you are a liar and a coward. Plain and simple. That is what your posts demonstrate. You should be ashamed of yourself.

          August 12, 2013 at 7:44 pm |
        • Johnny

          Mzh, allah doesn't exist.

          August 13, 2013 at 11:55 am |
        • mzh

          Dear John,

          Can you please prove that Allah does not exist?

          Peace!!!

          August 13, 2013 at 1:54 pm |
        • pzh

          mzh, go google and read up on "Russell's Teapot". Read about it at least 1000 times, and until you understand it. The content speaks well to your post. Stop pushing your desipicable god fraud at others.

          mzh who keeps pushing quotes from his evil storybook at us will go on all day with his repetitive posts trying to sell you on his god fraud. He has no proof to offer of his stories and you have to ask why his "god" needs an old, badly flawed book to get its message out. The reason is that his religion is all a big scam, entirely man-made. The god that his mythbook describes is just that, a complete fabrication. It is time to put such fictions aside and to tackle the problems of the world head on, instead. mzh's religion is one of those problems, and is the source of some of the worst ones. Witness what it demands that its followers do to "infidels" that happen to not buy into his stories.

          August 13, 2013 at 2:19 pm |
        • Johnny

          I don't need to prove anything, it is safe to assume allah doesn't exist until you prove that allah does exist. So I eagerly await your proof, afterall, my soul depends you.

          August 13, 2013 at 3:25 pm |
  3. Joel Oilsheen

    New Headline: Why The Church Needs Millenials

    And the answer: because religion needs money! Give us your money for our god fraud ponzi scheme. I need more money to pay for my many buckets of hair grease and my limos.

    Money! Money! Money! God needs money. Well, OK, I do, and I'm as good as god to you gullible fools.

    August 12, 2013 at 10:32 am |
    • mzh

      what fascinates me is there are lots of Christian preachers like Joel, Dollar, JH and his Son and there are lot more who owns a private jet where there are most of the Muslim scholars struggle to pay their bills...

      August 12, 2013 at 2:52 pm |
      • Jeb

        That's merely because most Muslims live in backward places with weak economies, and/or where wealth isn't equitably distributed.

        Go figure...

        August 12, 2013 at 3:11 pm |
        • mzh

          Thank you Jeb...

          I don't think you got my point... 🙂

          I have already figured it out but was thinking if anyone else give it a thought that how these preachers gets this rich by just teaching of whatever they do ...

          August 12, 2013 at 3:22 pm |
        • 404

          Oh, Jeb seemed to get what you were trying to say just fine, mzh. He just pointed out an obvious problem with it, that you apparently haven't got a valid response for.

          August 12, 2013 at 3:29 pm |
  4. tony

    This has been voted Best Comedy article on CNN.

    August 12, 2013 at 12:08 am |
  5. Peds

    good article

    August 10, 2013 at 1:40 am |
  6. bostontola

    "He should blame the people for the violence and suppressed science, not religion, right?"

    I disagree, religion was invented by people, administered by people, and its decisions are made by its people. You can't separate people from religion. Now god is a totally different story.

    August 9, 2013 at 11:40 pm |
    • Peds

      May God bless you.

      August 10, 2013 at 1:40 am |
      • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

        May Skeletor bless you.

        August 10, 2013 at 2:29 am |
    • Ken

      Yeah, it's like not being able to criticize Communism just because people didn't implement Marxism purely enough. What good is a religion if it's only viable in theory, and people can't make it work in real life?

      August 10, 2013 at 11:23 am |
      • bostontola

        Great point.

        August 10, 2013 at 12:03 pm |
      • haime52

        Perhaps because aspiring to a higher calling or higher moral purpose is the essence of what humankind has hopes for itself to attain. It has been said that evolution tends toward thinking rather than feeling creatures. In some ways, so does religion.
        I fail to see how religion currently suppresses science, in any way. Although I have seen academia suppressing free discussion of the merits of some theories. How sad that the very places that should celebrate free thought, seek to suppress it.

        August 10, 2013 at 7:56 pm |
        • skytag

          "It has been said that evolution tends toward thinking rather than feeling creatures. In some ways, so does religion."

          On the contrary, religion puts a heavy emphasis on feeling. Most of the thinking is devoted to rationalizing why the real world isn't consistent with what the religion's teachings would have you expect.

          August 10, 2013 at 8:59 pm |
  7. bostontola

    I'm amazed that no religious person contested the following assertion:

    Religion Starts with complete certainty of truth, no need to search any further, defends that truth by attacking any alternative. Track record of many foolish defenses up to and including violence.

    August 9, 2013 at 11:03 pm |
    • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

      For the most part, it's incontestable.

      August 9, 2013 at 11:07 pm |
      • bostontola

        That doesn't seem to deter some of them.

        August 9, 2013 at 11:08 pm |
        • lamelionheart

          Why would any rightly orientated religious folk want to get nailed and contorted with a following barrage of bitterness being hurled in the hereafter..?

          August 9, 2013 at 11:16 pm |
        • bostontola

          lionly,
          Good question.

          August 9, 2013 at 11:23 pm |
        • Peds

          Lion
          to know God and share is worth it. with hate, they are hurting self more than others.

          August 10, 2013 at 1:44 am |
        • Ken

          Peds
          "Worth it" to the believer, then, which makes religious belief an ultimately selfish pursuit, correct?

          August 10, 2013 at 11:35 am |
    • AE

      I don't agree.

      Consider what an actual religious man says:

      "...we should be reminded with a painful poignancy that we too can, and often do, get it wrong. That is why the most profound of all religious sentiments should not be certainty, which inevitably leads to arrogance, but modesty, which, because of a generous God, leads to mercy and forgiveness."

      – Peter Gomes

      August 9, 2013 at 11:16 pm |
      • bostontola

        Too bad most religious people don't think like Mr. Gomes. Right on this blog, the vast majority have certainty and will even contest facts like evolution.

        August 9, 2013 at 11:19 pm |
      • KBinTX

        Careful, AE:

        FoxNews Christians consider Gomes a heretic...and he's black...Like MLK, all they can focus on is his faults whilst strangely ignoring their own.

        August 10, 2013 at 12:03 am |
        • AE

          I don't watch Fox News.

          August 10, 2013 at 12:09 am |
        • KBinTX

          Wherein did you gather that I was claiming YOU are a FOX news christian? Is English a second language for you?

          If you read Gomes then in THEIR eyes there would be something wrong with you...I applaud you for reading Gomes, bonehead.

          August 10, 2013 at 12:18 am |
        • AE

          Sorry. Somebody was insisting I must watch Fox News on here the other day as an insult. I wrongly as.sumed you were that guy giving me a hard time.

          I don't ever watch the channel, so I really don't know what a "Fox News Christian" is!

          August 10, 2013 at 12:30 am |
      • Ken

        AE
        But, what if people got God wrong, like they did every other god (presumably)? Mr. Gomes doesn't seem to see that as a possibility, but beliefs in God are also things that people can get wrong, correct?

        August 10, 2013 at 11:28 am |
    • AE

      One religions for example, Christianity can be credited with producing many advancements in science and technology.

      There is a reason why many hospitals are named after religious figures. A lot were founded and funded by religious groups.

      August 9, 2013 at 11:18 pm |
      • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

        People are responsible for advancements in technology and science, not religion. Most discoveries made under religious supervision were discovered in spite of religion, not because of it.

        August 9, 2013 at 11:21 pm |
        • AE

          Dave.

          I know you don't always agree with boston. But he seems to blame religion for the negative things.

          He should blame the people for the violence and suppressed science, not religion, right?

          August 9, 2013 at 11:25 pm |
        • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

          Yes, but doctrine itself also has its own role. If doctrine says kill unbelievers, there's a fault with the doctrine. But yes, it's always the individual or group of psychopaths who have to take responsibility for their actions.

          August 9, 2013 at 11:32 pm |
        • AE

          I think for Christianity, most "anti-science" came from clergy playing politics. I really don't think the Bible teaches that exploring God's creation in logical ways is forbidden. There are a lot of examples of scientists who happen to be Christian that demonstrate this.

          August 9, 2013 at 11:47 pm |
        • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

          The Bible really fudges up any claim to scientific authority though with Genesis.

          August 9, 2013 at 11:52 pm |
        • LinCA

          @AE

          You said, "I think for Christianity, most "anti-science" came from clergy playing politics."
          Nah, they are trying to protect their livelihood. Every time science chips away at the bullshit they sell they are bound to lose a couple of sheeple.

          You said, "I really don't think the Bible teaches that exploring God's creation in logical ways is forbidden."
          It surely doesn't encourage it. It seems to be pretty hostile toward knowledge.

          You said, "There are a lot of examples of scientists who happen to be Christian that demonstrate this."
          For the longest time you couldn't do scientific work without approval from the church. Even today, there are scientists that manage to compartmentalize and keep their analytical abilities separate from their religion. Some, I suspect are only believers to appease their family and community.

          August 9, 2013 at 11:57 pm |
        • AE

          Today, there actually are a lot of churches and Christian inst.itutions that support, finance and educate about science.

          It is not quite the same world as it was when "The Church" ran the state and tried to (and failed at) using Christianity to govern people.

          My church has a steering committee devoted to science and technology, and they aren't fighting against.

          August 10, 2013 at 12:07 am |
        • KBinTX

          Sorry, AE:

          Placing your name on a building or a franchise of hospitals doesn't mean you give a da.mn about the suffering within.

          Floor after floor of hospital patients in need of someone to care for them (RNs are too busy with high nurse to patient ratio because hospital management also doesn't care about patients or RNs).

          Christians, if they actually believed Matthew 25 should be found sitting in every patient room, listening to their stories, helping the hospital staff care for them, being a presence "for Jesus."

          But, alas, they are not...instead, they are at Friday night singles group or watching p.orn on the net.

          August 10, 2013 at 12:15 am |
        • AE

          I know some Christians that carry out those kind of things.

          But, yea, most are like our secular society – singles groups and pron.

          August 10, 2013 at 12:34 am |
        • skytag

          @AE: "He should blame the people for the violence and suppressed science, not religion, right?"

          Believers tend to have a very demonstrable double standard. If it's good, give God or religion the credit. If it's bad, blame the people or the devil.

          I won't automatically give a religion a pass just because it didn't advocate something bad done by its followers. If the number of people involved is a very small percentage, such as the Westboro Baptist Church is compared to all 2.1 billon Christians, then I'm more willing to do that, but generally no.

          It's not good enough for a religion to not teach something that's wrong, it needs to be successful in preventing wrong behavior. For example, consider the following:

          In 1933, prior to the annexation of Austria into Germany, the Christian population of Germany was 67% Protestant and 33% Catholic, according to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum archives.[1] A German census in May 1939, completed more than six years into the Nazi era[2] and incorporating the annexation of mostly Catholic Austria into Germany, indicates that 54% of Germans considered themselves Protestant, (including non-denominational Christians) and 40% considered themselves Catholic, with only 3.5% claiming to be neo-pagan "believers in God," and 1.5 % non-Christians, or "non-believers".
          [...]
          Altogether more Protestants than Catholics left their church, however, overall Protestants and Catholics decided similarly.[7] The spike in the numbers from 1937-38 is the result of the annexation of Austria in 1938 and other territories. The number of Kirchenaustritte reached its "historical high"[8] in 1939 when it peaked at 480,000. Granzow et al. see the numbers not only in relation to the Nazi policy towards the churches,[9] (which changed drastically from 1935 onwards) but also as indicator of the trust in the Führer and the Nazi leadership. The decline in the number of people who left the church after 1942 is explained as resulting from a loss of confidence in the future of Nazi Germany. People tended to keep their ties to the church, because they feared an uncertain future.[8]

          Ninety percent of the Sicherheitsdienst des Reichsführers-SS or SD members withdrew from their churches, changing their religious affiliation to God-believing but non-church affiliated, while nearly 70% of the officers of the Schutzstaffel SS did the same. — Wikipedia

          The problem I see here isn't that the churches supported Hitler or Nazi doctrine. The problem is that they failed to retain their people or effectively combat the Nazi influence. 480,000 Germans and Austrians left their churches in 1939, choosing Nazism over their churches. For a being I'm told is omnipotent God seemed pretty impotent in Nazi Germany.

          I'm not saying God should have rained fire down on the Nazis, but didn't do anything. His "spirit" couldn't keep people in their churches. It couldn't keep them from becoming Nazis. It didn't tell Hindenburg not to make Hitler Chancellor.

          You do realize, don't you, that the only person Hitler killed after the Nazis rose to power in Germany was himself, right? The vast majority of the atrocities committed by the Nazis were committed by Christian Nazis and a lot of other Christian Germans went along with persecuting the Jews and war for territory. This is serious stuff, my friend. 50 million people were dying in WWII and your God was apparently off on vacation in another galaxy.

          Your God, if he exists at all, is utterly useless. He sits around and does nothing while good people do good things and bad people do bad things and he has no hand in any of it, if he exists, which I see no reason to believe is the case. So forgive me if I feel no inclination to be part of your little flock of believers who are happy to ignore everything we see in the world around us and that history tells us so you hide from reality in a comforting narrative.

          August 10, 2013 at 8:07 am |
        • bostontola

          Skytag,
          Well said. The omniscient god creates a singularity in reasoning that allows any rationalization to be consistent no matter how outrageous. The fascinating part is how often people have to use it to keep their faith. That should be a signal to them that something is wrong, yet they keep pressing that button anyway.

          August 10, 2013 at 8:28 am |
        • AE

          I certainly was not asking anyone to give religion a free pass. That has never been the point of any of my comments.

          The question I was trying to ask was along the lines of does Boston sometimes blame religion for negative contributions, and fail to give credit for the positive contributions?

          That is why I asked Dave's opinion on the matter. He actually seems willing to see both sides of the fence.

          August 10, 2013 at 8:44 am |
        • bostontola

          AE,
          You repeatedly assert that I blame and don't give credit to religion. I have posted many times that I support the positive social aspects of religion as man is a social animal. Right on this posting string, I gave credit to Mr. Gomes and said that many religions were key to science (until it conflicted with dogma). Your claim that I only blame and don't give credit is a stark example of a stereotypical religious person that makes baseless claims when contrary evidence is right in front of you. While I am an atheist, I actually have no problem with belief in god, I have no problem with any personal belief, I happen to think belief in god is personal, but belief in man made religious dogma while personal often imposes on others in the political environment. I resist that.

          August 10, 2013 at 10:38 am |
        • AE

          Ok Boston. I understand.

          I should have addressed that post to skytag, because you did clear up my misunderstandings before that. I was trying to explain to him why I said that sentence of mine he cherry picked and started posting off topic.

          August 10, 2013 at 10:58 am |
        • bostontola

          AE, peace. Although I find skytag to be one of the most rational and open minded folks on this blog.

          August 10, 2013 at 11:10 am |
        • Saraswati

          I think most religions support most of science. If you took a randomly selected set of papers from all pier reviewed scientific journals I suspect that even fundamentalist religions would have no problem with 95% of the articles written. (yes, the amish aside who mostly just wouldn't read them rather than objecting to the science) That's why it wounds silly to people in most religious backgrounds when someone says religion or their religion is against science. It simply isn't true.

          However, most religions have on blinders for very specific areas of science. They wear blinders regarding free will or ho mos exuality or evolution or anthropology and archaeology. Whatever is sacred is a blinder. So it also makes little sense to outsiders when most religious groups (yes, unitarians mostly aside) say that their religion supports science. Their religion, again in most cases, supports most science. The problem is that most people don't see their own blinders.

          I'd be a lot more comfortable if people stopped saying things about religion opposing science. It's just far too general a statement to say about almost any religion and frankly makes the speaker sound a bit ignorant. I'd obviously love it, too, if religious folk stopped claiming their was no conflict between their beliefs and science, but realistically that's not going to happen because those particular blinders are y on pretty tight.

          August 10, 2013 at 11:10 am |
        • bostontola

          Saraswati,
          I will respectfully disagree. While not all religions fight science, and not all within any religion fight science, leaders of powerful religions directly fight science. They actually strategize capture of key political and school board posts to directly change curricula and even the content of science books. That kind of distortion and corruption must be fought strenuously and vigilantly.

          August 10, 2013 at 11:29 am |
        • skytag

          @AE: "I certainly was not asking anyone to give religion a free pass. That has never been the point of any of my comments."

          God gets a pass all the time as those who believe in him make excuses for him..

          "The question I was trying to ask was along the lines of does Boston sometimes blame religion for negative contributions, and fail to give credit for the positive contributions?"

          There's no question that religion has been responsible for a lot of good, but given what religions are and the claims they make regarding their relationship to a perfect, all-powerful, all-knowing God I think the bar for judging them should be a little higher than "they do a lot of good."

          You don't need to believe in a god to do good. If the god behind it is real, I expect a lot more out of a religion than doing some good. After all, supposedly it's being directed by someone who knows everything, is the source of all good, offers great rewards for success and terrible suffering for failure.

          I expect a religion to do a lot of good and do no harm. I expect a success rate greater than what I'd expect from a group of people who make no claims of receiving divine inspiration or or benefiting from divine intervention.

          August 10, 2013 at 11:49 am |
        • skytag

          @AE: "I was trying to explain to him why I said that sentence of mine he cherry picked and started posting off topic."

          More whining because I confronted you with a reality you don't want to deal with. There was no "cherry-picking." I simply responded to one point in your comment. And I went off topic. Boo hoo. You're the biggest whiner I think I've ever seen in an online discussion.

          If you're done whining, perhaps you would care to explain your god's failure to help anyone in WWII.

          August 10, 2013 at 12:02 pm |
        • Saraswati

          @boston, my point was that while most religions are blocked by or oppose some element of modern science, they do not oppose "science" as a general practice or field. The areas which they object or are blind about are limited in scope and to claim they oppose "science" is to introduce a misleading generalization. It would be like saying Jehovah's Witnesses oppose medicine.

          August 10, 2013 at 2:30 pm |
        • skytag

          @Saraswati: I think it's pretty obvious the view of religious folk toward science has evolved considerably over the centuries.

          If I were to speculate, I'd guess that when "science" was in its infancy the religious regarded it as little more than a curiosity, an intellectual exercise. It might explain a few things, but real knowledge came from God, which in practice meant priests and other religious leaders.

          As long as scientists didn't directly challenge the church's version of things there was no conflict between science and religion. In the days of Galileo the official position of the church was that the sun revolved around the Earth, but it was okay for those in the science community to teach that the Earth revolved around the sun as long as they didn't try to present it as church doctrine.

          I suspect that over time as science debunked the religious folks' supernatural explanations of phenomenon in the real world over and over again the religious folk wised up and decided to stop setting themselves up to look like charlatans by claiming that this or that was the work of God or some evil spirit, so the opportunities for conflict have dropped dramatically.

          At this point off the top of my head only two religious explanations still have any real supporters among educated people in modern societies: God created the universe and God created life. Since the church's record when it comes to explaining phenomenon in the world around has as been one of consistent failures I don't see any rational reason to believe they're going to break their losing streak with these two.

          August 10, 2013 at 4:29 pm |
      • bostontola

        That is true, in the past Christianity supported science (as did Islam). Once science advanced to the point that it conflicted with dogma, religion created the schism and even inflicted violence to attempt to suppress science.

        August 9, 2013 at 11:22 pm |
        • Saraswati

          I think most religions support science right up to the point where it contradicts the outdated beliefs. In most religions you get branches that change more and less easily with the times. I think it's easy in the US to miss the fact that fairly recently Buddhism had to face its anti-gay positions (even the Dalai Lama) and Hindu groups in India have hindered geological and archaeological progress at many a turn.

          August 10, 2013 at 9:10 am |
    • Kev

      I'm not really sure where you're coming from. A religion may proclaim something to be the truth, but for many a believer in a religion it is just that; a belief. Not unlike those who look at their universe and not finding evidence that there is any God will make a conclusion or form an opinion that there is no God even though there really is no evidence to back up that conclusion either. When it comes to the bare facts all of us are in the same boat.

      August 9, 2013 at 11:59 pm |
  8. bostontola

    I'm sorry Dave,
    The science behind the electric power systems that they developed was discovered more than a century earlier by Faraday and others.

    August 9, 2013 at 10:40 pm |
    • bostontola

      Sorry, was supposed to be a reply below, the comment box is jumping around on me.

      August 9, 2013 at 10:42 pm |
      • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

        OK, now I'm embarrassed. Let's talk about something I know about. Do you think nihilism was a central theme throughout Kubrick's oeuvre?

        August 9, 2013 at 10:52 pm |
        • bostontola

          Now you got me on that one.

          August 9, 2013 at 10:58 pm |
        • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

          Phew! Although it's admittedly kind of disheartening that my scientific understanding isn't more broad. My education is in business and politics (yawn) and my real passion is in film. But hey, the world needs suits just as much as it needs lab coats.

          August 9, 2013 at 11:03 pm |
        • lamelionheart

          Hal 2000...

          If you're writing on Stanley Kubrick's Clockwork Orange being mostly meaningless, I would tend to agree... If not..?

          August 9, 2013 at 11:08 pm |
        • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

          Y'know, I'll actually answer that as you asked it coherently. No that's not what I meant. A Clockwork Orange certainly has meaning. It's about free-will vs determinism. It also deals with totalitarianism on both ends of the spectrum.

          August 9, 2013 at 11:16 pm |
        • lamelionheart

          Hal 2000 wrote, "Do you think nihilism was a central theme throughout Kubrick's oeuvre?"

          I had to look up "nihilism" Hal and that is why I posted what I did...

          August 9, 2013 at 11:23 pm |
        • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

          That's why nihilism is central to A Clockwork Orange. Is life meaningless when our actions are determined? I didn't mean for a second that Kubrick's films had no meaning.

          August 9, 2013 at 11:29 pm |
        • LinCA

          @AE

          You said, "I think for Christianity, most "anti-science" came from clergy playing politics."
          Nah, they are trying to protect their livelihood. Every time science chips away at the bullshit they sell they are bound to lose a couple of sheeple.

          You said, "I really don't think the Bible teaches that exploring God's creation in logical ways is forbidden."
          It surely doesn't encourage it. It seems to be pretty hostile toward knowledge.

          You said, "There are a lot of examples of scientists who happen to be Christian that demonstrate this."
          For the longest time you couldn't do scientific work without approval from the church. Even today, there are scientists that manage to compartmentalize and keep their analytical abilities separate from their religion. Some, I suspect are only believers to appease their family and community.

          August 9, 2013 at 11:56 pm |
        • lamelionheart

          Hal...

          Determinism is loosely woven within anyone's acts and/or actions; yet to submit that life is meaningless dares suggest an issue of pre-determining determinations becoming null and void ostracizing the very issues around the detrimentally determined...?

          August 9, 2013 at 11:56 pm |
        • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

          [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BNsrK6P9QvI&w=640&h=360]

          August 10, 2013 at 12:01 am |
      • lol??

        I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that SAYZ,
        "That's why nihilism is central to A Clockwork Orange. Is life meaningless.................."

        Nihilism is what the LOST do while they're waiting for judgment. Since it all gets burned up it's meaningless.

        August 10, 2013 at 10:37 pm |
  9. lamelionheart

    test

    August 9, 2013 at 9:59 pm |
    • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

      I'm testing my love for you.

      August 9, 2013 at 10:01 pm |
    • LinCA

      @lamelionheart

      You said, "test"
      I think that is the single most coherent post I've ever seen from you.

      August 9, 2013 at 10:05 pm |
      • lamelionheart

        :mrgreen:

        August 9, 2013 at 10:56 pm |
        • LinCA

          Better show them all:
            🙂 = :smile: or :) or :-)  
            😀 = :grin: or :D or :-D  
            😦 = :sad: or :( or :-(  
            😮 = :eek: or :o or :-o  
            😯 = :shock: or 8O or 8-O  
            😕 = :???: or :? or :-?  
            😎 = :cool: or 8) or 8-)  
            😡 = :mad: or :x or :-x  
            😛 = :razz: or :P or :-P  
            😐 = :neutral: or :| or :-|  
            😉 = :wink: or ;) or ;-)  
            😆 = :lol:  
            😳 = :oops:  
            😥 = :cry:  
            👿 = :evil:  
            😈 = :twisted:  
            🙄 = :roll:  
            ❗ = :!:  
            ❓ = :?:  
            💡 = :idea:  
            ➡ = :arrow:  
            :mrgreen: = :mrgreen:  

          August 9, 2013 at 11:11 pm |
        • Athy

          So, we don't need to use emoticons any more? I hope so. I really hope so.

          August 10, 2013 at 3:59 am |
  10. bostontola

    Contrasting science and religion as approaches to seek knowledge and understanding.

    Religion: Start with complete certainty of truth, no need to search any further, defend that truth by attacking any alternative. Track record of many foolish defenses up to and including violence.

    Science: Start knowing nothing, use the imagination to develop ideas to explain what we sense and experience, challenge and test those ideas, repeat. Track record of continuous improvement evidenced by the rise of technology globally. Medical, information, weather prediction, navigation, computation, imaging of the universe and microverse in spectra beyond our natural abilities, etc., are increasing our knowledge and understanding at an accelerating rate, heated arguments among scientists don't lead to violence, scientists don't seek to imprison clergy or anyone else.

    August 9, 2013 at 9:39 pm |
    • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

      I'm pretty sure there was violence between Tesla and Edison.

      August 9, 2013 at 9:42 pm |
      • bostontola

        Not to my knowledge. They were rivals and Edison played hardball but I never heard there was violence. Neither was a professional scientist.

        August 9, 2013 at 9:50 pm |
        • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

          C'mon, what's a 'professional scientist'? They mightn't have had university qualifications but their contribution to science is fairly astounding.

          You're right though, looking it up (which I should have done initially. D'oh!), there wasn't any violence between the two although Edison's treatment of Tesla was just as bad.

          August 9, 2013 at 10:00 pm |
        • bostontola

          Dave,
          I have to disagree with both points. While they both made amazing inventions, neither made significant contributions to science. Also, Edison was a cut throat businessman, but that is not in the same class as physical violence. Tesla was a pure technical engineer and was repelled by marketing, he paid the price for that.

          August 9, 2013 at 10:16 pm |
        • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

          As an economic conservative, I guess I should applaud his business acc.umen (although some of his business practices were questionable). But I have to disagree regarding the science aspect. I think their discoveries regarding the uses of electricity should be considered to be scientific discoveries.

          August 9, 2013 at 10:26 pm |
        • Saraswati

          On a similar topic, is anyone else disturbed by how the news on major sites that used to have sections called "Science and Technology" have replaced that just with "Tech" now?

          August 9, 2013 at 10:31 pm |
        • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

          Not especially. As long as the science news keeps rolling in, they could put it under the celebrity gossip section for all I care (not religion though, let's keep some dignity).

          Did anybody see the story about IBM actually? The singularity is coming people.

          http://news.cnet.com/8301-11386_3-57597519-76/ibm-unveils-computing-architecture-based-on-the-brain/

          August 9, 2013 at 10:39 pm |
    • AE

      “A scientific discovery is also a religious discovery. There is no conflict between science and religion. Our knowledge of God is made larger with every discovery we make about the world.”

      –Joseph H. Taylor, Jr., (1993 Nobel Prize in Physics, his work supported the big bang theory)

      August 9, 2013 at 9:42 pm |
      • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

        "Hokum". Me, now.

        August 9, 2013 at 9:45 pm |
      • AE

        Oh, just a co-recipient on the Noble Prize.

        And his work supported The Big Bang Theory as in the false creation of the world premise; not the tv show like I presumed.

        Disregard the quote, he is a quack.

        August 9, 2013 at 9:48 pm |
        • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

          Never said he was a quack. Just because somebody has some irrational views doesn't make their work any less important. It just goes to show that human frailties exist in even great minds. You're right about disregarding the quote though.

          August 9, 2013 at 9:51 pm |
        • AE

          fyi: I posted that before I read your reply.

          August 9, 2013 at 9:52 pm |
      • bostontola

        AE,
        There should be no conflict in principle. Many religious sects create the conflict as a matter of fact (e.g. Creationism).

        One scientists opinion isn't evidence.

        August 9, 2013 at 9:54 pm |
      • skytag

        How many times does someone have to explain to you that being a scientist does not make one an authority on God? Geez, are you a slow learner or what?

        August 9, 2013 at 10:46 pm |
        • AE

          “If we need an atheist for a debate, we go to the philosophy department. The physics department isn’t much use.”

          –Robert Griffiths

          August 9, 2013 at 11:06 pm |
        • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

          I don't get it. Is he implying that there's no physicist atheists? If that's the implication, it's blatantly false. Anybody at CERN could tell you that.

          August 9, 2013 at 11:10 pm |
        • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

          Or is it that physicists don't really care about debating religion. I guess that's mostly true as most physicists don't seem to care about religion except when it contravenes science.

          August 9, 2013 at 11:13 pm |
        • AE

          I think it is that most are interested in physics, not debating religious philosophies.

          He had to know many non-believers in his field. They probably didn't discuss his personal religious beliefs often.

          August 9, 2013 at 11:28 pm |
        • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

          Yeah, I guess that's likely.

          August 9, 2013 at 11:39 pm |
        • LinCA

          @AE

          You said, "I think it is that most are interested in physics, not debating religious philosophies."
          I suspect physicists are interested in discussing religion at about the same rate as they are interested in discussing other fairy tales.

          You said, "He had to know many non-believers in his field. They probably didn't discuss his personal religious beliefs often."
          I don't start discussion of religion, and I suspect most scientists don't either. Even scientists that are also believers probably know better than start an argument that they, deep down, know they will lose.

          In principle, science isn't against religion. It's just that religion is collateral damage. When science and religion disagree, religion is wrong. Every. Single. Time.

          August 9, 2013 at 11:42 pm |
        • AE

          "I don't start discussion of religion, and I suspect most scientists don't either."

          That sounds funny coming from a man/woman who is a regular poster on a CNN Belief Blog; a blog set up for the discussion of religion.

          August 9, 2013 at 11:51 pm |
        • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

          Never discuss philosophy or politics in a disco environment.

          August 9, 2013 at 11:54 pm |
        • LinCA

          @AE

          I said, "I don't start discussion of religion, and I suspect most scientists don't either." and you said, "That sounds funny coming from a man/woman who is a regular poster on a CNN Belief Blog; a blog set up for the discussion of religion."

          You must have missed the word "start". I emphasized it so you could more easily see it. I guess I overestimated your abilities once again.

          But, once the discussion is started, I have little reason to hold back. Like I've said before, if you don't want your beliefs ridiculed, don't display them here, or even better, don't hold ridiculous beliefs.

          August 10, 2013 at 12:58 pm |
    • bostontola

      How about actually addressing the point, religion assumes the answer and blindly defends, while science questions, tests, applies the knowledge to useful things.

      August 9, 2013 at 10:00 pm |
      • AE

        “Science investigates; religion interprets. Science gives man knowledge, which is power; religion gives man wisdom, which is control. Science deals mainly with facts; religion deals mainly with values. The two are not rivals.”

        Martin Luther King, JR

        August 9, 2013 at 10:41 pm |
        • Saraswati

          The two should not be rivals, but once a religion sets up any belief about reality as inerrant, it has crossed the line and created rivalry.

          August 9, 2013 at 10:48 pm |
        • bostontola

          AE,
          You can contrast 2 things that are not in conflict. You just responded in way that doesn't address the point I asked you to pay attention to, why?

          August 9, 2013 at 10:48 pm |
        • LinCA

          @AE

          In some areas Martin Luther King, JR wasn't the brightest bulb.

          You said, "Science investigates; religion interprets."
          Religion doesn't do anything of the sort.

          You said, "Science gives man knowledge, which is power; religion gives man wisdom, which is control."
          The "control" part is probably true, but not in the way MLK meant it. Religion gives the few control over the sheeple. Religion doesn't provide wisdom.

          You said, "Science deals mainly with facts; religion deals mainly with values. The two are not rivals.”"
          While a major component of religion is about values, religion isn't required to have values, nor are the religious values inherently good. Some are outright reprehensible.

          And, when it comes to explaining nature, religion is like a drawing of a clock for telling time. It will occasionally be correct, but it is only so by accident and there is no way of knowing when.

          Science, on the other hand, is a working clock. It may not be absolutely correct, but it is close enough to work for most circumstances. And we're working on an improved model.

          Religion and science are only not rivals if religion stays out of the "explaining nature" business.

          August 9, 2013 at 10:48 pm |
        • skytag

          You look pretty lame responding to a simple, direct question by quoting something someone else said. Even more lame quoting someone with no background in science in response to a question about science.

          I can only assume that you're either not bright enough to answer the question or you're trying to avoid it. Which is it?

          August 9, 2013 at 10:53 pm |
        • AE

          –You just responded in way that doesn't address the point I asked you to pay attention to, why?–

          re: Many religious sects create the conflict as a matter of fact (e.g. Creationism).

          Yes. That does happen.

          Hey I really like what Martin Luther King, Jr has to say about religion and science...

          (that is what I should have posted, sorry)

          August 9, 2013 at 11:03 pm |
  11. AE

    I don't miss people changing my alias into derogatory slurs.

    August 9, 2013 at 9:09 pm |
    • Saraswati

      I haven't noticed anything of mine being deleted, but the way these deltions have screwed up paging makes the site much less user friendly.

      August 9, 2013 at 9:13 pm |
      • AE

        Maybe ones that are flagged "Report abuse" get noticed?

        August 9, 2013 at 9:16 pm |
      • Saraswati

        @AE, I hope that if someone is monitoring the Report Abuse button more carefully they'll also try to make sure what happened back with the Be Nice story, where half the comments were removed by someone with too much time on hir or her hands, will also be checked.

        August 10, 2013 at 9:16 am |
  12. skytag

    One of the strangest phenomenon I see in forums like this is the smug, condescending, arrogant Christian, posting comment after comment belittling atheists and letting everyone know what a good Christian he is to boost his own sense of self-worth.

    It is behavior that is completely contrary to what the Bible teaches about how a follower of Christ should act. The Bible teaches a follower of Christ should be kind, patient, long-suffering, slow to anger, humble. It teaches that whatever you do to the least among you you have done to Christ. It speaks of treating others as you would have them treat you.

    To be clear, they don't bother me. I've been discussing politics online for years, and if you can't handle smug, condescending self-righeous jerks you'll never survive discussing politics online. I just find it fascinating to watch these so-called followers of Christ behave so decidedly un-Christ-like.

    Some parts of Christianity are easy, and some parts are hard. Exhibiting Christ-like behavior is easy when you're surrounded by fellow Christians, or as it says in Matthew 5:46, "For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same?"

    In fact, this was considered important enough to appear in another one of the gospels: Luke 6:32 "For if ye love them which love you, what thank have ye? for sinners also love those that love them."

    I understand that atheists are challenging for believers, with their constant demands for evidence that doesn't exist, repeated demands to know why seeming inconsistencies in what Christians believer aren't inconsistencies and so on can be frustrating for Christians, but "long-suffering" doesn't mean acting like a jerk to people who frustrate you.

    Alas, their behavior strikes me as just more evidence Christianity is a fraud. All the promises sound great, and it doesn't really demand much in return, but as soon as it gets a little tough to follow Jesus these people are quick to abandon any pretense of Christ-like behavior. Walking the Christian walk is a lot harder than talking the Christian talk, folks. If you can walk the walk why should atheists take anything you say in your talk seriously?

    August 9, 2013 at 8:02 pm |
    • Lycidas

      When an atheist does it...it just shows how unevolved they are.

      August 9, 2013 at 8:12 pm |
      • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

        We don't have a book that tells us we'll burn eternally for our pride.

        August 9, 2013 at 8:14 pm |
        • Lycidas

          You are answerable to yourself alone in that case. Hope you carry a high standard.

          August 9, 2013 at 9:00 pm |
        • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

          No, not especially although I try to limit my insulting to responding to insults aimed at me or light-hearted teasing in response to abject stupidity.

          August 9, 2013 at 9:02 pm |
        • lamelionheart

          Hal 2000...

          Proud are the prides in their comfort zones be they religious believers or unbelievers... I run with no prides and I range alone while in watching the scorns and so being justifiably scornful myself,.. I answer to no one person or prides of persons... God will be the judge of my prideful issues when I depart from this celestially terrestrial earthen biosphere's cosmology and am taken back into the atomized essences of my body's cosmological orders of its cellular cosmologies... I dole out that which is dealt to me... Tempt me and I will mate with temptations... Bleed me and I will make your blood boil...

          August 9, 2013 at 10:51 pm |
        • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

          [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BNsrK6P9QvI&w=640&h=360]

          August 9, 2013 at 11:04 pm |
      • niknak

        I thought you were not coming back Lydia.
        Did you unretired, or was Swine getting overrun by atheists and needed some backup?

        August 9, 2013 at 8:15 pm |
        • Lycidas

          Hi stupid....I don't know where you got that idea that I retired. Only an idiot would have fallen for the old name stealer routine.
          Never been afraid of anyone on here...let alone atheists.
          Have a good weekend 🙂

          August 9, 2013 at 9:04 pm |
      • AE

        The things he lists are more of a human problem. Not an unique Christian phenomenon.

        August 9, 2013 at 8:21 pm |
        • skytag

          I never suggested they were unique to Christians. Now deal with my point.

          August 9, 2013 at 8:32 pm |
        • AE

          Your point, that some Christians act exactly like you on the internet? Yea, I agree. Some are just another example of religious hypocrisy, just like you are just another example of atheist hypocrisy.

          August 9, 2013 at 8:35 pm |
        • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

          There is no atheist hypocrisy. We don't have any guidelines on behavior. A d.ouchy atheist is a d.ouchy atheist. A d.ouchy Christian is a hypocritical Christian as they're required to love everybody.

          August 9, 2013 at 8:40 pm |
        • AE

          An atheist can pretend or claim to have virtues, moral, and principles, but not actually demonstrate those qualities.

          August 9, 2013 at 8:44 pm |
        • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

          But that hypocrisy bears no relevance to his atheism, whereas the hypocrisy I described is directly related to the hypocrite's Christianity.

          August 9, 2013 at 8:51 pm |
        • AE

          skytag treats atheism like a religion. He says "we" a lot. And compares a shared belief system versus the belief system of others, who don't belong to his group.

          August 9, 2013 at 8:55 pm |
        • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

          Well, the only we he can use when discussing atheists is 'we don't believe in deities'. Everything else is superfluous.

          August 9, 2013 at 9:05 pm |
        • skytag

          @AE: "Your point, that some Christians act exactly like you on the internet?"

          So, do you think this kind of cheap shot is Christian behavior or are you just another fraud Christian?

          "Yea, I agree. Some are just another example of religious hypocrisy, just like you are just another example of atheist hypocrisy."

          Yep, another arrogant Christian fraud. Thanks for playing.

          August 9, 2013 at 9:16 pm |
        • AE

          I am arrogant and hypocritical at times. And, believe it or not, I am grateful when somebody brings it to my attention.

          I don't want to be another example of religious hypocrisy; I want to follow Jesus Christ.

          Sometimes I fail. I'm new at trying to live with these new standards of life, so forgive me.

          August 9, 2013 at 9:20 pm |
        • skytag

          @AE: "An atheist can pretend or claim to have virtues, moral, and principles, but not actually demonstrate those qualities."

          You can't defend Christians by talking about atheists. Your God is supposed to be blessing you, strengthening you, helping you to be a better, more humble person, but here in the real world all you can do is tell us you don't do any better than atheists. How pathetic is that?

          You preach humility, but you don't practice it. If you were humble you would admit when you were wrong or behaved badly and take sole responsibility for your actions. Instead your pride compels you to attack those who point out your hypocrisy, to use the "you do it too" argument. All you have is big talk from a fraud.

          August 9, 2013 at 9:22 pm |
        • AE

          Ugh, I just tried to admit my faults above. It is hard; to admit our faults.

          August 9, 2013 at 9:24 pm |
        • skytag

          @Dave: "But that hypocrisy bears no relevance to his atheism, whereas the hypocrisy I described is directly related to the hypocrite's Christianity."

          AE is just another Christian fraud. Lots of good Christian talk but then acts like a jerk and tries to justify his bad Christian behavior by attacking atheists. He preaches humility but attacking others to avoid admitting your own mistakes is prideful behavior.

          August 9, 2013 at 9:27 pm |
        • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

          skytag

          I wouldn't say he's a fraud necessarily. It must be difficult to reconcile such strange and inconsistent beliefs with reality.

          August 9, 2013 at 9:32 pm |
        • skytag

          @AE: "skytag treats atheism like a religion. He says "we" a lot. And compares a shared belief system versus the belief system of others, who don't belong to his group."

          What a load of horse manure. My "group" is the set of people who believe there is no God. That doesn't make me part of a religion, you fruitcake. If I used "we" to refer to people who believe there is no Santa Claus that wouldn't make me part of a religion either.

          Every time I confront you with a reality you don't want to deal with you go on the attack with idiotic whining like this. True or not, how is your comment here germane to my comment about how Christians here act? Don't Christians have their own values that should guide their actions? Don't you folks have some kind of moral code relating to how you behave and treat others? Or is "if you can do it so can we" the real code by which you live?

          August 9, 2013 at 9:34 pm |
        • skytag

          @AE: "I am arrogant and hypocritical at times. And, believe it or not, I am grateful when somebody brings it to my attention."

          Yeah, I can tell by the way you attack me for doing it. I'd hate to see how you treat people when you aren't grateful. LOL

          August 9, 2013 at 9:37 pm |
        • AE

          Usually you start preaching about your conception of Christianity.

          And when I, a Christian, see you say something about your concept of Christians that doesn't match with what I believe, I defend myself.

          And then you whine, that I am attacking you. I didn't realize you are so sensitive, I'll go easy on my "attacks". Poor fella.

          August 9, 2013 at 9:40 pm |
        • skytag

          @AE: "Ugh, I just tried to admit my faults above. It is hard; to admit our faults."

          Only if you're proud. Pride is what keeps us from admitting our faults, and even more pride when we try to make excuses for them.

          You want me to believe in a God for which there is no evidence whatsoever; a God who did nothing to prevent the deaths of 50 million people in WWII; a God who, as far as anyone can demonstrate, has never done anything to help anyone; a God who supposedly answers prayers, but there's no evidence of that either; a God whose followers can't consistently practice what they preach; a God who has done such a poor jot of communicating with his devout followers they can't even come close to agreeing on what they believe he wants them to do.

          Thanks, but no thanks. I'm quite happy not having to make endless excuses for God and my fellow Christians like you do and like I used to do when I was a Christian.

          August 9, 2013 at 9:58 pm |
        • skytag

          @AE: "Usually you start preaching about your conception of Christianity."

          You're not a very honest person. I don't "preach" about Christianity. I discuss it. The preachy people are the ones who spam us with Bible quotes and spout canned Christian dogma.

          Funny how good you are at telling everyone this is a Belief Blog, but when I discuss my take on Christianity it's "preaching."

          "And when I, a Christian, see you say something about your concept of Christians that doesn't match with what I believe, I defend myself."

          You can't defend yourself by attacking me, atheists, or atheism. If my assessments are not accurate you should show why they aren't accurate. You never do that. You avoid my questions and make endless excuses for not addressing any of my points.

          "And then you whine, that I am attacking you. I didn't realize you are so sensitive, I'll go easy on my "attacks". Poor fella."

          Oh look, the condescending Christian is being a dishonest jerk again. Shocker.

          Sorry, Mr. Christian Liar, I am not whining, I'm simply stating facts. I couldn't care less how much you attack me, or atheists, or atheism, so get over your delusions of self-importance. I'm simply confronting you with you're own hypocritical behavior. Of course like the "humble" person you are, thanks to God, the Bible, your pastor, and so on, you respond by being a jerk. What a great advertisement you are for Christianity, God, the Bible, and your pastor.

          FYI, I've discussed politics online for years and been attacked thousands of times by nastier people than you. It doesn't affect me a bit. If it did I would have stopped years ago. Keep being a jerk. It's the best evidence I know that Christianity is a fraud.

          August 9, 2013 at 10:16 pm |
        • skytag

          @AE: "I'm new at trying to live with these new standards of life, so forgive me."

          If you want people to forgive you the first thing you must do is stop the offending behavior.

          And here's a tip if you really want to be humble: Thinking you know more than atheists because you're a Christian is arrogant and prideful. You don't know more about Christianity than I do, you just believe it and I don't.

          Apparently you're new to the whole Christian thing, so maybe a little more respect for the fact that my understanding is the product of being a Christian for four decades is warranted. I am not, as you so arrogantly seem to believe, some clueless kid who has never read the Bible and doesn't understand what Christianity is all about.

          You need to understand that people can know the Bible from cover-to-cover, have a solid grasp on Christian doctrine and teachings, and still believe it's just an appealing narrative based on some fairytales. Once you accept that you'll understand why it's pointless for people to spam forums like this with Bible verses like they're casting spells on us or something.

          It's not like I've never read those verses before. I've read the Bible from cover-to-cover, literally, starting at the beginning of Genesis and reading straight through to the end of Revelations. I've read various parts many times. I used to mark and highlight favorite scriptures. I've been a Sunday School teacher. I know the explanations, the theories, the principles, and so on. In four decades you learn a few things.

          In addition to my knowledge of Christianity, I also have a better command of logic than most people, which you would expect of a mathematician who has taught logic. I'm not the smartest guy on the planet, but I'm smarter than most folks based on my IQ and educational accomplishments.

          So you might want to consider not talking to me like I'm some low IQ art major who's never seen a Bible if you want me to take you seriously. You can't just throw some Bible verses at me along with some stock Christian platitudes and expect that to convince me of anything or accept that as an answer when I pose a question.

          August 9, 2013 at 10:43 pm |
      • skytag

        Case in point. Thanks for the example of another Christian fraud.

        August 9, 2013 at 8:31 pm |
    • AE

      Ironically, an entire thread we were having a conversation in (about our education) has been deleted because of an atheist's harsh and belittling personal attack against a Christian!

      August 9, 2013 at 8:32 pm |
      • skytag

        How do you know why it was deleted?

        August 9, 2013 at 8:35 pm |
        • AE

          A CNN Editor said he would be monitoring the website. He said he knew many of us discuss things off-topic, and that was fine. But he would not tolerate personal attacks.

          A couple weeks ago I was in a discussion in a thread, and an atheist poster we all know got mad and started cussing and calling me horrible names. The whole thread was deleted, not jut the offending parts.

          August 9, 2013 at 8:41 pm |
        • skytag

          You can rest assured atheists aren't the only ones who attack people. Some of the nastiest people I've encountered online are Christians, though the worst examples I've seen tend to be in political discussions. Austin could get pretty mean at times here recently.

          I get the impression they'll delete posts when people start spamming us with Bible verses. I suspect they want us discussing religion, not trying to convert people to Christianity by spouting Bible verses and preaching to us. I know Ron posted a bunch once before and they all got deleted. Could the deletions you're talking about have been Ron's more recent verse spam?

          August 9, 2013 at 11:06 pm |
      • Athy

        Why don't you grow up, AE? You sound like a whiney little brat.

        August 9, 2013 at 8:38 pm |
        • AE

          Eh, yea, that is the guy that gets threads deleted.

          August 9, 2013 at 8:47 pm |
    • KBinTX

      skytag...the best comments and response (to AE) I've seen on this blog and I've been an observer for a time.

      I've been waiting for atheists to catch on to the most significant point regarding the non-existence of the Christian God: the failure of the Christians to live their lives as if their God exists. Arguing the failures of scripture or Creationism is one thing; they, however, have many apologists to provide them with empty answers against these.

      But their failure to live their lives according to their sacred scripture is proof enough for me that their God doesn't exist. They love to claim they've been transformed by the blood of Jesus, yet their day-to-day lives testify to something altogether different.

      Besides the pathetic bumper sticker theology that states "Christians aren't perfect, just forgiven," they've not done much thinking about how to apologize their inability to comply with their savior's simplest commands...my favorite being Luke 6:27.

      Thanks for your posts.

      August 9, 2013 at 11:46 pm |
  13. niknak

    Here is a typical believer post;

    Blah blah blah, GRAVEL, blah blah blah, COMFORM, blah blah blah, BURN IN HELL, blah blah blah, HIS LOVE, blah blah blah, MORALITY, blah blah blah, FACTS DON"T APPLY, blah blah blah, WHAT STARTED THE BIG BANG, blah blah blah, IT JUST FEELS RIGHT TO ME, blah blah blah.....

    With that kind of proof how could one NOT be a believer??????

    August 9, 2013 at 7:35 pm |
    • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

      Should that be grovel?

      August 9, 2013 at 7:37 pm |
      • niknak

        Yeah, but since they have gravel in their heads, it still applies.

        August 9, 2013 at 7:39 pm |
        • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

          Fair enough.

          August 9, 2013 at 7:41 pm |
    • skytag

      I don't recall seeing any posts quite like that.

      August 9, 2013 at 8:04 pm |
      • niknak

        I don't know how you haven't, as your latest post contained babble versus which are an amalgamation of all the catch phrases I put in my blah blah blah post.

        August 9, 2013 at 8:13 pm |
  14. mrp01

    One of the oddest and biggest contradictions that I find many religious people state is that god is unfathomable, indescribable etc.. Yet they turn right around and give there god characteristics that are fathomable and describable, like being a he, having the capacity for anger, having the capacity for love, having the capacity to pass judgement. This makes no sense at all, even if you mean by unfathomable is that you can't describe him yourself. To give this trait to your god is in itself a describing of your god, that which you state is not possible.

    August 9, 2013 at 7:17 pm |
    • Athy

      If religion didn't contain contradictions, it wouldn't be religion. It would be truth.

      August 9, 2013 at 7:29 pm |
      • mrp01

        very true, no pun intended. Belief is not rooted in fact, it is rooted in the wants of human beings to find meaning, nothing more, nothing less. That in itself is not honest, because human beings have the propensity to lie and contort there own views into the reality that they want to experience. Science does not have that ability in itself, humans surely do, but to be honest with oneself is the definition that science brings to light.

        August 9, 2013 at 7:46 pm |
        • mrp01

          I apologize if i'm rambling like a poe, lol. Science can not be contorted to suit the views of those that study it, that was my main point. Humans can contort there views to what they want them to be based upon interpretation, hence this is what religion in general is based upon, it is not honesty that is practiced, it is greed to want things the interpreters way.

          August 9, 2013 at 7:52 pm |
    • Just the Facts Ma'am...

      What they are really saying is that God is all these things they want, but he is unfathomable because they haven't finished wishing for things for him to be. If in the future they need him to do something or be something different, this allows them to add and subtract anything they like. Love the part about God being the embodiment of love but don't like the part about him commanding his servants to bash babies heads upon the rocks? Well then change him from the old hebrew god to the new turn the other cheek God.

      August 9, 2013 at 7:29 pm |
    • niknak

      And add to that the workings of the universe and what we have discovered so far, which is very orderly and precise.
      So when they say god works in mysterious ways, they must not be talking about physics, because it is not mysterious at all.

      August 9, 2013 at 7:37 pm |
      • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

        In terms of human understanding, physics is incredibly mysterious. There's so much mystery in physics. It's mind-boggling.

        August 9, 2013 at 7:51 pm |
        • niknak

          Not really Dave.
          Yes, there is heaps we don't know, yet. But look at not only what we know, but what we can predict will happen from what we know.
          Two examples for you;
          The Higgs Boson. It was predicted to exist some 30 years ago. And when we finally developed a machine capable of detecting it, there it was, right where it was predicted to be.

          Boeing 777.
          A huge jumbo jet designed on a computer, and never actually flown until it was built. Up until that they would build prototypes and fly them to get the final design correct. But using our understanding of physics, they designed it and never had a prototype.

          Those are just off the top of the old noggin. I am sure you can think of many more.

          We, the people who use science as our guide and not some stone age book of fairy tales, design airplanes.
          The stone age fairy tale bunch fly airplanes into buildings.

          August 9, 2013 at 7:58 pm |
        • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

          Two examples. Christ, we haven't even visited anoter planet. How can you not look out at the universe and ponder the wonderful discoveries we have yet to make?

          August 9, 2013 at 8:06 pm |
    • AE

      If a parent sees a child doing something wrong, that parent might get angry in an attempt to prevent that child from being harmed.

      That parent isn't angry because he/she hates the child. That parent is angry because he/she loves the child.

      The wrath of God is similar to that. He loves His creation.

      August 9, 2013 at 8:26 pm |
      • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

        I dunno about you, but I personally wouldn't cast my child into a lake of fire for all eternity.

        August 9, 2013 at 8:28 pm |
        • AE

          God says he doesn't either.

          "The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance." 2 Peter 3:9

          August 9, 2013 at 9:05 pm |
        • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

          Good, so I can live a life of sin and debauchery and still reap the benefits.

          August 9, 2013 at 9:07 pm |
        • AE

          Those are called consequences. We are responsible for those.

          August 9, 2013 at 9:11 pm |
        • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

          Nope, not with an omnipotent deity. If Yahweh creates people knowing exactly what bad things we'll do in life but still sends us out of the factory damaged, it's his fault. Then he has the audacity to send me in to a pit of fire for eternity because he doesn't have the foresight to get some quality control in his human building factory. Sounds like an ass-hole to me.

          August 9, 2013 at 9:38 pm |
        • AE

          Yea, I don't worship that god you are talking about.

          August 9, 2013 at 9:51 pm |
        • LinCA

          @AE

          You said, "Those are called consequences. We are responsible for those."
          So you would kill your child if it played with dolls and cars after you told it not to? After all, doesn't your god send farmers to hell for planting two crops next to each other? And the consequences for such a silly infraction should certainly not be less than those for a child disobeying it's parents, right?

          August 9, 2013 at 9:53 pm |
        • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

          So you don't worship an omnipotent god? You don't worship the god that creates humans? Who do you worship then?

          August 9, 2013 at 10:05 pm |
      • mrp01

        Your post is off topic, if you'd like to address my statement, do so, quit diverting. My point was the contradiction that your so called god is not fathomable by human reason, yet you turn around and give said god characteristics that are fathomable by nearly everyone. If you state that your god is not fathomable by human understanding, then that's all you should state, end of story, nothing more needs to be added. If you add any characteristic to said god, you're contradicting the first said statement that god is unfathomable.

        August 9, 2013 at 8:34 pm |
        • AE

          I don't really agree with your point.

          People may attribute some traits to God to gain a better understanding of how that being has revealed Himself. Using "Himself" doesn't mean I think God is a male, anymore than calling a boat "she" means I think it is a female.

          August 9, 2013 at 9:03 pm |
        • mrp01

          I understand we label things to give understanding to them. What I am trying to address is the contradiction in my first posted statement. Also, when you don't agree with someone, you usually let them know, not just post willy nilly off topic things that are irrelevant to the topic. You don't agree with me, show me why, you stated that we label things to describe them, but to do so is a contradiction of the statement i posted earlier, which many if not all religious followers state.

          If a deity is unfathomable, it therefore could not logically exist coherently in a populace. It would be open to interpretation by each indiviidual of that populace and each would have there own interpretation of said thing. This is the problem religion has and why skeptics question your beliefs. Every religion states that there deity is the only real one, but since there is no real evidence that it exists for proof of any of these deities, they all then are open to interpretation, they can be whatever you want them to be. The problem this poses is the doctrine behind each deity states specific rules and guidelines by which to follow said deity, absolutes do no leave room for interpretation. Interpretation equates multiple possibilities, absolutes equate one possibility.

          This is why Chrisitanity is so fallible, there's thousands of denominations, each with there own interpretations of the bible. If you state that the bible is the word of god and is infallible, then you're either being dishonest or christianity is actually polytheistic and has thousands of different gods all named yahweh.

          August 9, 2013 at 9:27 pm |
        • AE

          I try to focus on following Jesus Christ and doing His will.

          And not on strictly trying to be a Christian, or getting too worried about other people's conception of God.

          August 9, 2013 at 9:32 pm |
        • mrp01

          You still have not given anything that would be considered a rebuttal to my statement about god not being fathomable by human understanding. I put a logical argument up and you can't even explain your interpretation of god to try to refute me.

          Another thing, you state you focus on doing Jesus Christ's will. It's not his will, it's your interpretation of what you think Jesus would want you to do and it could mean a totally different thing to Joe Blow. So please don't make the claim that you are doing Jesus' will, you're not, it's your interpretation, concordant to your biases that you're doing, that's all.

          August 9, 2013 at 9:52 pm |
      • Athy

        Wow, that's the way you justify the cruelty in the bible, AE? Man, you are grasping at straws.

        August 9, 2013 at 8:35 pm |
        • AE

          No, that is not how I justify cruelty in the Bible.

          August 9, 2013 at 9:21 pm |
      • mrp01

        I am a father myself, but I would never punish my child for eternity for not following my every command. I would be nothing more than a tyrant to them if that was the case, not a father. Freedom to make mistakes and learn from them is what a real parent allows, but the punishment needs to meet equally with the mistake. Giving a child an eternal sentence all because they question things and/or don't believe your interpretation of truth is ridiculous.

        August 9, 2013 at 8:43 pm |
  15. bostontola

    It is interesting that some believe their god created living things with DNA that can mutate into fatal cancer at any age. This same god created DNA that mutates, only leads to disease and/or death, not occasionally to a beneficial feature. The god created environment we live in changes, but living things with DNA that mutates, don't get rare beneficial mutations that work well with the environmental changes.

    Why did god allow genetic mutations that lead to disease, but none that are beneficial?

    August 9, 2013 at 7:15 pm |
    • niknak

      Botswana,
      Most of them still believer babies come from storks, and flowers get pollinated by angel fairies, so a concept as complex as DNA comes right from the Devil and they won't believe it applies. Like those pesky dino bones.

      August 9, 2013 at 7:46 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.